Anti-Corruption Day

As per an affidavit filed to J&K and Ladakh High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation, Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau and Crime Branch had submitted a total of 129 cases to the General Administration Department for grant of prosecution sanctions since January 1, 2019 till December 2, 2021. Sanctions for prosecution have been accorded in 101 cases.
In 2019, 30 FIRs were received from these agencies in the GAD for prosecution sanction and the same was granted in 28 cases. One case was referred to other administrative department for sanction/comments and one case is under examination.
The steps are welcome. It basically sends the message that corruption is not being tolerated. Unfortunately corruption continues to pervade virtually every sphere of life, notwithstanding promises made from time to time to eradicate the menace. Beyond doubt, corruption eats into the innards of a nation and is a debilitating social cancer which spares no one. There are numerous reasons, some of them well documented, as to why corruption flourishes. However, failure by some key institutions particularly the police and judiciary to bring to a close case plays an important part.

As per recent information from the Court of Special Judge, Anti-corruption, Jammu, there are FIRs starting from 1998 onwards under the Prevention of Corruption Act, where challans have not been presented till date. The allegations are of forgery, bribery, misuse of government money, fictitious withdrawals from the treasury, embezzlement of government money, disbursement of loans without proper documents, allotment of works without tendering process, possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income, fabrication or fictitious bills for the purchases, etc. The allegations of corruption there are allegations under provisions of penal code also in most of the FIRs.

Many of the accused named in the FIRs are government officials. They may be either under suspension or may be getting all benefits despite pendency of criminal cases against them.

There are timelines provided in law for the presentation of the charge sheet, otherwise, an accused is entitled to default bail. Any delay by the Investigating Agency in not completing investigation of the cases registered is seriously impacting the justice delivery system as the guilty are not being brought to court for trial even after decades of registration of cases against them, thus observed the J&K’s top court.

While reasons for the delay could be plenty, the government should ensure the monitoring system for investigations in the FIRs and that there is success in trap cases.

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